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‘Closure of doctor’s surgery will leave us stranded’

TRAVEL FEARS: Bob and Shirley Stocker are concerned by the closure of their local GP surgery.
TRAVEL FEARS: Bob and Shirley Stocker are concerned by the closure of their local GP surgery.

Elderly and vulnerable patients will be left isolated after the closure of doctor’s surgery in Wrenthorpe, said a couple who depend on the service.

Bob and Shirley Stocker live on Sunnyhill Crescent and will have to travel to Outwood Park Medical Centre after recently approved plans to Wrenthorpe Branch Surgery come into effect.

Mr Stocker, 73, said he and his wife had mobility problems and the hill at Wrenthorpe Lane meant it would be extremely difficult to make the journey.

He said: “We just feel vulnerable. I have walking problems and we’re right at the top of a hill. I just can’t do it

“The only way is to spend £5 each way in a taxi and we can’t afford that - we’re pensioners.

“We will be left without any medical cover at all in Wrenthorpe. We went to a meeting at the village hall about this and everyone wanted to keep the surgery open.

“They don’t listen to people, people don’t count.

“Two or three thousand people live at the top of the hill and will have problems travelling.”

He said that even keeping the Wrenthorpe surgery open for a couple of days a week would ease the travel pressure on pensioners.

Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which gave permission for Wrenthorpe’s surgery to close after it was given assurances that Outwood had capacity – said just 15 appointments a week were being carried out at Wrenthorpe.

It was told an expanded service could be offered at Outwood.

Mr Stocker said he had no complaints with the quality of care at Outwood but said it was more difficult to get an appointment.

Outwood Park Medical Centre said it would provide a transport service for frail and vulnerable patients for an initial period of six months.

A date is yet to be set for the closure.

Morley and Outwood Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns, who campaigned against the move, said she was “hugely disappointed” at the decision.

She said: “In September I handed a 140-strong petition from local residents making our views clear that the surgery should not close.

“This closure will put additional pressure on Outwood Park Medical Centre and has the potential to drastically affect the service to all residents.”